The House of Representatives recently passed the Working Families Flexibility Act (also known as H.R. 1180). If approved, H.R. 1180 would authorize private employers to offer compensatory time off instead of overtime pay for nonexempt employees who work more than 40 hours per week. H.R. 1180 still needs approval from the Senate and the executive branch before it becomes law.
Highlights of H.R. 1180
Compensatory time off is already a common practice for many federal and state employers, but it is not currently allowed by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) for private employers. H.R. 1180 would amend the FLSA to allow this practice, if certain conditions are met.
Under H.R. 1180, employees would be eligible to receive compensatory time off after 1,000 hours of continuous employment during the previous 12 months.
H.R. 1180 is proposing that compensatory time off be calculated at the rate of 1.5 hours of compensatory time off for every hour of overtime work, as long as both employers and employees agree to this arrangement. The language of H.R. 1180 would prohibit employers from coercing or forcing employees to agree to receive or use compensatory time off instead of overtime wages.
As it stands, H.R. 1180 would expire within five years of its enactment. In addition, the bill would limit the amount of compensatory time off eligible employees may receive to 160 hours.
Action Steps for HR Professionals
Because H.R. 1180 is not yet law, no action steps are currently required. However, HR professionals should take time to review H.R. 1180 in-depth, as well as their current overtime and paid time off policies, and worker classification.
Employee handbooks provide important company information that is valuable to both new and seasoned employees, ensure that all individuals are treated consistently with regard to company policies and procedures, and can protect the company from potential lawsuits. An effective handbook is thorough, up to date, legally compliant, readily available and easy to understand.
However, unless employees know what policies and rules are included in their company’s handbook, and these policies are updated regularly to reflect legislation changes, it will not be nearly as effective. Failing to keep a handbook updated is consistently one of the top mistakes employers make with their handbooks.
Contact Employee Benefit Advisors, Inc. today for suggestions on how to update your company’s employee handbook.